NFL Total Access is the signature show of NFL Network and is hosted by Rich Eisen. Following are excerpts of the interview between Eisen and Director of Officiating Mike Pereira as they review the calls from Week 14. Pereira joins NFL Total Access every Monday night to discuss the previous day's NFL action (aired Dec. 8, 2003).
Rich Eisen: So Mike, let's talk about what happened in New England: lots of snow, the Dolphins and the Patriots, points at a minimum. Adam Vinatieri kicks a 29-yard field goal in the first quarter that looked, quite frankly, as wide left as some Democratic candidates for President, Mike. The ball apparently sailed over the left upright but it looks to me as if it is wide left, and if you take one more view you can see from underneath. And the rule, apparently, Rule 1 Section 3, defines the field goal. The goal as the vertical plane extending indefinitely above the crossbars between the lines indicated by the outer edges of the goal posts. So does that mean, Mike, in order for a field goal to be good, if the ball goes over the goal post, it must be completely, entirely within the goal post, above it?
Mike Pereira: You're becoming the rulebook expert. It's just incredible. You're watching what is called a field goal. You've got to kick the ball in front of the field, through the goal. And the goal is defined as the area between the outer edges of the goal post, so anywhere in between there. That's really what it appeared that we had yesterday. If we take a look at this, we're going to see we have the back judge who actually, you can see here, that the ball went directly over the upright. And what you get from this shot, and I guess this is the key; you can never get the perfect angle here. But, as we said the goal, the actual goal, runs down the outside of the goal post, that's the goal -- anything in between there. So the question here is that is it inside that point? Who's going to ever know? That's why really it's not reviewable, because clearly the guy who has the best look is the guy underneath and he's looking straight up. No camera angle is going to give us that precise shot. But again, inside the outside edges that are what we say in the NFL; that's why it's a field goal.
Eisen: So let's say a football sails over the top of the goal post and half of the football is outside the goal post and half of it is inside. Let's say the ball itself splits the goal post over the goal post. That is a field goal or not a field goal?
Pereira: Well, it depends now, which way the ball is pointing, Rich. If the two oblong points are pointing at a 90-degree direction, then it's going to be no good. The entire ball has to be inside the outside edge. Look at the shot here. Where is the ball at this point? If all of this ball is inside the outside edge then it's going to be a field goal and I truly believe it was.
Eisen: Final question on this in case it comes up later on. Is this reviewable?
Pereira: No, no you can't. Not everything is covered in replay. Certainly the clock is not and also field goals are not. We're not dealing with a line; we're dealing with something that is 31, possibly 41 feet in the air. It would be impossible to get a precise shot that we could get a clear judgment on this, so it's not reviewable.